The original pipe show in Las Vegas was launched in 2009 by Marty Pulvers and Steve O’Neill, and was named The West Coast Pipe Show. It ran for 10 years, and then 2020 happened. After two years of limbo, in the spring of 2022, Steve and Marty announced that they were done.
Soon after, on May 7, 2022 Brian Levine and Dave Peterson (daveinlax in the forums) announced that Marty and Steve had given their blessing for them to take over the show, and give it a new name. The inaugural Las Vegas International Pipe Show took place at the traditional location at The Palace Station where smoking on the show floor and in the hotel rooms was easily accommodated.
The official show days were Saturday and Sunday, October 22 & 23. The paid admission of $40 covered both days, and included a commemorative show button, shopping bag with all of the sponsors logos, a drink ticket, and a raffle ticket. Some people arrived as early as Wednesday for pre-show trading, smoking and mingling.
14th floor room hopping took place Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights. “Room Hopping is where some sellers, collectors or groups open up their hotel room to anyone stopping by. This is how you might get a first shot at pipes for sale, vintage tobaccos available, meet up with old friends or make new friends. Share some of your favorite blends or drinks.” VegasPipeShow.com
The show had 79 exhibitor tables, 330 attendees, 2,000 raffle tickets, and served 80+ dinners on Saturday night. The two big raffle prizes were pipe sets donated by The Virtual Pipe Club – a Yiannos Kokkinos two-pipe set with six stems, and Four Horsemen’s set with four pipes from four different makers.
There were three show awards that were determined by a secret committee that walked the show and reported back to the show organizers.
Best Pipe of Show – Kurt Balleby
Best Hobbyist Display – Murf Sculptured Pipes
Best Industry Display – SmokingPipes.com
(For the awards, industry or hobbyist was determined by full time or part time.)
The original show organizers of the West Coast Pipe Show, Marty Pulvers and Steve O’Neill, were awarded lifetime admission to the new Las Vegas International Pipe Show with engraved plaques.
The Saturday Night Awards Dinner included a special guest presentation by pipe maker Nate King – “From Indy Cars to Pipes – How my time in racing prepared me for pipe making”.
As I walked around the show on Saturday speaking with several exhibitors, it was unanimous that they were pleased with the attendee turnout, and expressed how happy they were that the Vegas show was brought back to life. A less anecdotal measurement came from show organizer Brian Levine himself. He said that one of the most asked questions he received was if the show was financially successful. He said, “If it pays for our rooms and dinner, then it is financially successful.” And it did.
The show also included a Social Media Studio, and invited all pipe and tobacco related YouTubers, Podcasters, Instagramers, Facebook Groups and Bloggers to utilize it free of charge as long as they paid their show admission. The studio included electrical plug-ins and lights with access to high-speed internet for live streaming from the show.
There will be a 2023 Las Vegas International Pipe Show. Dates will be announced in early 2023. A photo gallery is below.